Im home. Three weeks in a hospital bed have made me weak. During the last two weeks I have had to learn to walk, shave, and so on. A new world. But, Im doing fine, still weak, moving slow, with that determined half speed you have seen aged men shuffle through long hallways. Im told it will be another month before I am strong.
There isnt much more to be said about this war my pancreas started. Most of you know more about the medical issues than I do. It was rough, although some of the roughest parts are better known by my fine doctor Dr. Robert Israel, and my loving family and noble friends who stood with me in the battle. Apparently, I came close to buying the farm, to use one of Dr. Israels technical medical terms. At some point, the good doctor and chief general decided that defense could not win the war, so he attacked. The offensive was enirely dependent on my lungs, which had been dormant because a machine had been doing my breathing. The lungs responded better than anyone thought possible; the counterattack was successful. In an attempt to pay back the debt I owe them, I have stopped smoking (maybe a good Cuban once or twice a year will be allowed!). My debt to Dr. Israel, of course, cannot be repaid, so I kindly and honestly thank him for his goodness and excellence, for his art.
I still find it amazing that my family and friends stood by me during this long period of horror. They did everything. They held my hand, whispered hope in my ear, told me that they loved me, took care of everything, prayed for me, cut into their own lives to help. Hundreds sent me their good wishes and prayers, and I thank them all. It is overwhelming when the affection is so open, so forthright. I am deeply grateful, and, you should know, very happy to be in this breathing world.